Sustainability, Eco-friendly and Other Buzzwords: What Do They Mean?

If you’ve been on social media lately, you will have come across a few buzzwords on the timeline especially in the environmental and recycling sectors and you’re probably wondering what they mean? 

The key to any lasting change is first of all, understanding and in a adopting a sustainable lifestyle, it’s important that we explore the most commonly used terms and how they affect us: 

1. Sustainability

In a nutshell, sustainability means meeting your present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. 

Sustainability presumes that resources are finite, and should be used conservatively and wisely with a focus on the long-term and consequences of the ways we use these resources. We can practice sustainability in our everyday lives by purchasing products with recyclable packaging or switching to reusable products because we know that for example, manufacturing single use plastics causes environmental pollution.

2. Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly is an abbreviated term for environment-friendly which means favorable to the environment. Being eco-friendly could include choosing to walk or ride a bicycle to close destinations to reduce fossil fuel emissions from cars or switching to solar energy to reduce heavy reliance on generators and its toxic carbon emissions.

Eco-friendly household items

3. Recycling

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling is a key aspect of sustainability because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, conserves natural resources and prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.

One way you could practice recycling is by depositing your plastic bottles and cans with GIVO where we process these materials into new goods. And the best part is that, with GIVO you get paid when you deposit your plastics!

4. Upcycling

This is the process of transforming waste or old materials into new  products perceived to be of greater quality (such as artistic value or environmental value) than the original materials. An example could be converting old jeans into a bag or book cover, or used up candle jars into flower vases.

Upcycling of old tyres into furniture

5. Recyclables

Recyclables simply means material or objects that can be reused, reprocessed, remanufactured, reclaimed, or recycled. This term covers a wide range of materials such as glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics etc.

Recyclable materials

6. Circular economy

The circular economy is a model which involves the sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling of existing materials and products as long as possible. Goods are manufactured and used by individuals. However, instead of throwing away these goods after use, we can reuse it, or give it to someone else or recycle it into a new product, thereby continuing that cycle of use. 

Within a circular economy, goods are only discarded when there is no more possible use for that product. A way to incorporate circularity into your lifestyle is by finding new uses for old items in your home or by dropping off your recyclable materials for recycling. 

So there you have it! When next you are on the TL and you come across these words, you now know what they mean and how you can apply it to live a healthier, fuller and more sustainable life. 

The fun doesn’t end here. Join the party on our social media pages!